LA/Ontario International Airport (IATA:
formerly Ontario International Airport, is a public
airport located 2
NM (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) east of the
district (CBD) of Ontario,
a city in San
Bernardino County, California,
USA. This airport is owned and
operated by the Los
Angeles World Airports (LAWA), an agency of the
city of Los Angeles. In 2008, 6.2
million passengers used the airport, a decline of 13.5% compared to
2007. The April 2011 passenger volume was down 4.6% than the year
In early 2011, Southwest
Airlines was responsible for 54% of the passenger volume at the
The airport was originally built by one of the first flying clubs in
southern California, The Friends of Ontario Airport, and dates back to
1923, when a landing field was established east of Central Avenue (three
miles west of the current airport) on land leased from the
Union Pacific Railroad.
The airfield was named Latimer Field in honor of an orange-packing
company located next to the airstrip. In 1929 the city of Ontario
purchased a 30-acre (12 ha) tract in the southwest corner of the present
airport for $12,000 and established Ontario Municipal Airport.
In 1941 the city purchased 470 acres (190 ha) surrounding the airport
and approved construction of new runways, which were completed by 1942.
On February 27, an
Army Air Corps plane made the first landing. By 1943, during
World War II, the airport was
earmarked as an Army Air Corps P-38
training base and P-59 operating base.
In 1946, Ontario Municipal Airport was renamed "Ontario International
Airport" because of transpacific cargo flights originating from the
facility. Western Airlines began scheduled passenger flights about 1950,
and Bonanza arrived in 1955, but nonstop flights did not reach beyond
Las Vegas. In 1962 Western began a nonstop to San Francisco (one
Electra daily) and
Bonanza began nonstop F27s to Phoenix in 1967; jets arrived in 1968. In
1969 Continental started 720B nonstops to Denver and Chicago, Air
California started 737s to San Jose, and PSA started San Francisco;
Western began 737 nonstops to Sacramento and Salt Lake City. In 1970
United started a nonstop to Chicago and American started Dallas (and
Chicago, for a short time).
In 1967, the city of Ontario and the city of Los Angeles entered into
a joint powers agreement, making Ontario International Airport a part of
the Los Angeles regional airports system. In 1974, Ontario was the only
Bernardino Area airport to host the
Concorde supersonic aircraft as it made its promotional
around-the-world flights in October of that year.
In 1981, a new, second east-to-west runway, 26L/8R, was built,
necessitating the removal of the old northeast-to-southwest runway,
4/22. Remnants of the former 4/22 runway are still visible in the
present-day taxiways. With the completion of the new east-to-west
runway, the existing Runway 25/7 was renamed to 26R/8L.
In 1985, the city of Los Angeles acquired Ontario International
Airport outright from the city of Ontario.
In 1987, Runway 26R/8L was extended to the east so the runway's
thresholds could be corresponding to runway 26L/8R thresholds in order
for aircraft to fly higher over neighborhoods. This also made 26R/8L the
main departing runway and 26L/8R the main arrival runway.
In 1998, the airport's new terminal complex opened.
In 2005-2006, Runway 26R/8L was repaved, received storm drains,
strengthened, and improved runway lighting including centerline lights
were added. Taxiways D, S, R, U, and W were widened, and better taxiways
and runway outlines were also added.
Aeroméxico started seasonal flights to
Mexico City, the only
international flights to Ontario.
In 2006, Ontario International Airport became LA/Ontario
International Airport. The "LA" portion was added to make Ontario
Airport geographically relevant to Los Angeles and to avoid confusion
with the province of Ontario in
In 2007, Southwest Airlines who carried 49.38% of passengers. The
other four airlines in the top five were United Airlines/United Express
(8.64%), Delta Air Lines (7.93%), US Airways (7.08%), and American
UPS uses the airport
as their gateway for packages to and from Southern California.
Expressjet formerly operated a hub
at the airport.